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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 45:237-239 (2001)  -  doi:10.3354/dao045237

Cymothoid parasite Ceratothoa parallela inflicts great losses on cultured gilthead sea bream Sparus aurata in Greece

E. P. Papapanagiotou1, J. P. Trilles2,*

1National Center of Marine Research, Aghios Kosmas 16604 Hellinikon, Athens, Greece
2Laboratoire d┬╣Ecophysiologie des Invertébrés, Université de Montpellier II, Sciences et Techniques du Languedoc, CP 092, Place E. Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: For the first time Ceratothoa parallela (Otto, 1828), a cymothoid isopod, is reported parasitizing cage-cultured gilthead sea bream Sparus aurata, in Greece. The specimens observed are larvae (Pullus secundus). They were found in the branchial and buccal cavity of young gilthead sea bream of 2 g mean body weight, upon introduction in the cages in an intensive cage farm facility. The species was previously known from several species of wild fish, particularly Sparidae (chiefly Boops boops) in the Mediterranean Sea, Adriatic Sea and Atlantic Ocean. However, this is the first documentation of this parasite in cage-cultured gilthead sea bream. Serious lesions were macroscopically visible and typical of a crustacean infection. The cumulative mortality over a 2 mo period was over 50%. The parasitic problem was not successfully dealt with due to high stocking densities and the non removal of the dead fishes, resulting in constant reinfection.

KEY WORDS: Cymothoid · Isopod · Parasite · Ceratothoa parallela · Sparus aurata · Greece

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